Tune of the Day: Wayfaring Stranger
There are many and varied opinions about the origins of this traditional song. Some of the proposed origins are Appalachian folk, old Irish folk, and Catskills folk. One theory is that it originates from the Negro Spirituals, and there was a deliberate concealment of the song's origins. Clearly the song is of a spiritual nature, as the “Wayfaring Stranger” sings of the hardships of his temporal life passing by and refers to his journeying on to a better place.
This song has been recorded countless times, but in the 1940s it became strongly associated with American folk singer Burl Ives, who made it one of his signature songs. Ives even used it as the title of his CBS radio show and his autobiography. For these reasons, Ives is sometimes referred to as “The Wayfaring Stranger”.